For over a week, students of Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) have been receiving e-mails and I-messages from an unidentified individual, who often impersonates as one of the deans of the school, reports The Daily Herald.
The first false e-mail was sent May 9 with the sender’s name “Pether Johnson,” which is a misspelled name of an actual individual living on Saba. Four multi-recipient e-mails have been sent to all SUSOM students so far, and several messages to individual addresses have been sent as well. These messages were sent from an unidentified source, and their contents are filled with slander and sexually- explicit photos. One woman medical student is targeted specifically in these e-mails and false statements are made in the name of SUSOM Dean Dr. James Lewis. In a false e-mail that was sent Saturday evening to all students, a remark was made about a stabbing that was going to take place.
The Daily Herald spoke with several students and they said they feel uneasy by this situation. Especially with the current homicide investigation going on, mostly female students feel less safe at the moment. Med School student Kavya Guda (24) was found dead in her apartment in The Bottom on April 15. No suspects have been arrested.
SUSOM has arranged a walk-home programme for students, who don’t like to walk to their home alone during quiet hours. So far, the last bogus e-mail was sent on Sunday. While Dean Lewis is not responsible for the false e-mails being sent to the students, he has commented on these incidents by e-mail to all SUSOM students. In one of his e-mails, Lewis stated: “These e-mails, at any time, would have been inappropriate and a violation of our honour code and general harassment policies.” Lewis mentioned that this behaviour is especially inappropriate in light of the resent homicide. According to Lewis, the local police have been notified and are looking into the matter.
In another e-mail, Lewis stated that “the Dutch police have determined that the anonymous inappropriate e-mails recently sent are criminal and are under investigation utilizing their forensic electronic unit.” Lewis also stated that the university’s schedule will not change, including the exams, and that the campus is one of the “most secure places” on the island.